Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Ripon - Monday 21st December 2015

My diary

I finally got the breakthrough I've needed. For months there have been major (to me) tasks that I seemed unable to complete, but sticking close to home to look after Pauline helped and I cleared the last obstacle today. It took a couple of hours.

I also used my new toy again and made a gingerbread. I was happy with the result, which doesn't mean I won't weak things next time.

Gill and Paul came over just after lunch and stayed a couple of hours. I cooked a stir fry meal, Peter Fox called in, attracted by the aroma (actually to copy files off my computer) and then I hid myself in the dining room and packaged all of Pauline's Christmas presents. There won't be room in the car for her. I had intended going over to Tamworth for an hour this evening but Pauline had overdone it this morning and was paying the penalty. The doctor told her to start walking again, but ease her way in. She tried today with crutches.
 
My meanderings
 
As cities go, Ripon is even smaller than Lichfield. It is also a market town. For most of British history a town could only be a city if it had a cathedral. Birmingham had to rename a church as a cathedral in order to get city status. Yet there are places like Lichfield, St Asaph, St David's and Ripon that barely qualify as towns, yet they have the magic of a cathedral.
 
Ripon has been there for well over1300 years. The first stone church was begun in 672, but that replaced a wooden monastery. The cathedral evolved from the church and although it has been rejiggered constantly over the centuries, much of it is at least 800 years old.
 
Ripon Cathedral
 
Ripon is popular with horse race goers, but tourists also flock to the region because of the World Heritage Site which includes the likes of the Studley Royal Park and the ruins of Fountains Abbey.
 
Studley Royal Park

Fountains Abbey
 
Come the New Year I will put more meat on the bones of my place recollections.
 
The wife of a Yorkshireman died. He asked for the gravestone to be engraved “She was thine.” When he went to view the finished product the inscription read “She was thin.” He angrily told the engraver that he had missed off a vital E. When he returned to view the corrected product it read “E she was thin.”

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